by Victor Koosh, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church Stewardship Chair

A dragon, an angel, and a bug-eyed monster walk into a Unitarian Universalist church . . .” Sorry, it’s not the start of a bad joke.  It’s what might actually happen at the First UU Church of Second Life.

This was the way that Becky Edmiston-Lange started her sermon Sunday, September 29. Now you may think this unusual, but this is par for the course at a UU church. We’re experiencing the Living Text Project, which is a way for the congregation and the ministers to have a conversation about topics of importance to us. One of these is, how do we actually change our behavior to live as a beloved community?

Behavioral change comes as a result of understanding and acceptance. This understanding occurs when a story is told by a minister and we as a congregation begin thinking deeply about it. At that point it is information and possibly knowledge. We then ask questions through various physical and online technologies and begin our journey toward understanding. Of course there are many levels of understanding and to combine that with acceptance and action changes our habits. When habits change at a personal level, everyone with whom we come into contact is impacted. When this occurs, the circle of living text is complete.

So what do Avatars have to do with this? Well it turns out that Avatars are the physical incarnations of the one God Vishnu on earth, such as Krishna. Some theologians transfer this idea to Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Buddha among others. This of course is a fascinating twist on traditional western thinking and provides room for deeper thought on the subject. Maybe each of us is an Avatar and we can all do great things while on this earth? What if we tried every day to do just a little bit of that? I’m grateful for a world filled with people who want to help me be successful and encourage me to be better every day.

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